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10 Horned Dinosaurs

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Deer, elk, moose, and goats are just some of the horned animals alive today, but millions of years ago, there were also many horned dinosaurs. In this article, you'll learn about 10 longhorned dinosaur species and what made them unique. Dinosaurs have been extinct for millions of years, but there's a lot to discover when looking at relics of the past such as fossils.

Fossils are not only important for determining when dinosaurs lived, but they also help us understand how dinosaurs interacted with the world around them. Horns are a common feature of ceratopsians that are rarely seen in other types of dinosaurs. The 10 dinosaur species on this list had horns, but each species had their own number and placement that made them look amazing.

1. Carnotaurus

10 - Horned Dinosaur - 1
Despite its size, Carnotaurus was one of the few fasting theropod carnivores that ever lived on Earth.

©Daniel Eskridge/Shutterstock.com

Carnotaurus is a genus of longhorned dinosaurs with only one species, Carnotaurus sastrei. This species was also one of the only horned carnivorous dinosaurs. Carnotaurus lived in South America during the Late Cretaceous period, 69 to 71 million years ago. As a theropod, Carnotaurus walked upright on two legs but lacked feathers. Only one Carnotaurus fossil has been found so far, but it is nearly complete. The Carnotaurus sastrei fossil was well preserved enough to leave an impression of its skin, suggesting it had scales like a lizard.

Carnotaurus sastrei stood about 29 feet (9 meters) tall and weighed about 3309 pounds (1500 kilograms). This species has a small head with a stubby snout and a horn above each eye. Carnotaurus hunted small prey and even large prey like sauropods. The horns of this species can be used for hunting or to protect its head and thick neck.

2. Stegocera

Stegocera remains only a partial fossil of its skull.

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One of the horned dinosaurs that roamed the Earth during the Late Cretaceous period was Longceratops. This species is a member of the ceratopsian family, similar to many other horned dinosaurs. Macharioceratops lived in North America, and its fossils have not been excavated in southern Utah. Its name is a combination of the Greek words "ceratops" and "machairis", meaning curved sword face.

Reaching 26 feet (8 meters) long, this dinosaur weighed 2,000 to 4,000 pounds. The skeleton found in this species is its skull, which is incomplete. This species has horns above the eyes and a curved crown on the head.

3. Torosaurus

The dinosaur's name means "piercing lizard" because it was named for the opening in its frill.

©Daniel Eskridge/Shutterstock.com

Torosaurus is a genus of ceratopsian dinosaurs that lived in the late Cretaceous period. Two species exist in this genus:

  • T. latus
  • T. utahensis

Only seven of these dinosaur fossils have been unearthed because they are a very rare species. Torosaurus was once considered to be the same species as Triceratops because of their similar fossil skulls. Paleontologists have studied their bones for years to confirm that the fossils of these species are not the same dinosaur.

Torosaurus was a large ceratopsian, weighing up to 13,000 pounds (5,896 kilograms) and reaching a length of about 30 feet (9.1 meters). This species has one of the largest heads of any land animal, measuring about 9 feet (2.7 meters) long. They have two large horns on their heads and a large frill above their eyes. As more evidence of these dinosaurs is revealed, there may be more information in the future that will reveal whether this species is really its own.

4. Linnosaurus

The horns on top of Achelousaurus resemble goats.

©Daniel Eskridge/Shutterstock.com

First discovered by Jack Horner in 1987, Achelousaurs are a ceratopsian species that lived in the late Cretaceous period. This dinosaur was found in Montana and lived in what is now North America. They are herbivores and use their large size and horns for protection. Fossils of this species were found near other dinosaurs, suggesting they lived in groups.

Not the largest ceratopsian dinosaur, it was about 20 feet long and weighed about 6,600 pounds (2993.71 kilograms). There are no horns on the brows of this species, but they are located on top of the frill. They have a large bony joint on their snouts and a beak-shaped mouth.

5. Pachysaurus

Pachyrhinosaurus had a large bony mass on its snout.

©Daniel Eskridge/Shutterstock.com

Pachyrhinosaurus was a horned dinosaur that lived in the late Cretaceous period. Three distinct species of this genus have been found, P. canadensis, P. lakustai and P. perotorum. These dinosaurs lived in what is now North America and migrated in large groups. Like other ceratopsians, they were herbivores. Fossils of this species are often found with other specimens, suggesting that they migrated in large groups.

Pachyrihinsouars are unique for the large bony mass on their nose. The horns on their faces were much smaller than those of other horned dinosaurs, and their heads had large frills topped with smaller ram-like horns. The largest, Pachyrhinosaurus, was about 26 feet (7.9 meters) long and weighed 8,800 pounds (3991 kilograms).

6. Guanlong

Avacaretops was the smallest of all horned dinosaurs.

© Grzegorz Czapski/Shutterstock.com

The smallest of all ceratopsians that have been found is Avaceratops. They are estimated to be 7.5 to (2.3 to 4.2 m) long as adults. Fossils of this species were found in Montana, where other dinosaurs were found nearby, letting us know they roamed North America in large groups.

Like other ceratopsians, they reproduced by laying eggs and were herbivores, and as one of the smallest ceratopsians in North America, they were likely preyed upon by the predatory species around them.

7. Pentagon

The five horns are located on top of the head of the pentagonal dragon.


One of the largest skulls in the world, Pentaceras's skull reached a height of 10 feet (3 meters). They are large members of the Ceratospidae family, measuring about 25 feet (7.62 meters) long. Pentaceras are known for their large skulls equipped with 5 horns. Few fossils of this dinosaur have been found, mostly in the San Juan New Basin in New Mexico.

This dinosaur was a herbivore, feeding on low-lying vegetation. Their sharp beaks help them eat large plants such as ferns and conifers. Pentaceras lived during the Cretaceous period, 835 to 66 million years ago, and roamed North America.

8. Albertaceratops

Albertaceratops is famous for its intact skull left in Alberta, Canada.

©Michael Rosskothen/Shutterstock.com

Albertaceratops, named for the area where it was found, is a ceratopsian dinosaur that lived in North America. First discovered in Alberta, Canada, two fossils from Earth are our way of learning about the species. They lived in the late Cretaceous period, were herbivores, and walked on four legs.

Albertaceratops was about 19 feet (5.7 meters) long and weighed about 7,700 pounds (3492 kilograms). This dinosaur had long brown horns and large frills. Their beaks are like beaks, and their noses have a knuckle. The horns on their heads were thought to be used for dueling or showing off.

9. Triceratops

Triceratops VS Elephant - Triceratops Charge
Triceratops has three horns on its head, made of keratin.

©freestyle images/Shutterstock.com

Triceratops is one of the most famous dinosaurs of the Cretaceous period, living in what is now North America. Belonging to the ceratopsian family, two species of this genus have been found:

  • dino triceratops
  • Triceratops

A fully grown Triceratops was about 30 feet (9.1 meters) long and stood about 9.8 feet (2.9 meters) tall. They have a large frilled head and horns above their nose and eyes. The horns of this species are very long and can grow up to 4 feet (1.2 meters). Triceratops horns were used for dueling with other dinosaurs and for self-defense.

10. Cosmic Ceratops

As the dinosaur with the most horns, the big horned dragon has 15 horns in total.

©YuRi Photolife/Shutterstock.com

Kosmoceratops, which means "gorgeous horned face" in Greek, was the most horned dinosaur. This species lived in the late Cretaceous period about 76 million years ago. Kosmoceratops lived in what is now North America and had a total of 15 horns. The species was found at Escalante National Monument in southern Utah.

The horns of this species are not used for fighting, but are more ornamental. It's more likely that the 15 horns were used to impress mates and intimidate other dinosaurs. Ten horns sit on top of the Kosmoceratops frill, with one horn above each eye. Their frills were smaller than those of other ceratopsians.

Kosmoceratops is a large species, reaching 15 feet (5 meters) in length. Their skulls alone are 6 feet (1.8 meters) tall. Their diet consisted only of plants; their estimated weight was 2.5 tons (5511.56 lb). Only two Kosmoceratops fossils have been found, a near-complete skull with many horns.


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about the author

Emilio Brown

Spiders, snakes, and lizards are some of my favorite types of animals, and I love keeping a few species as pets. I love learning about all the wonders nature has to offer and have been a writer for 5 years. In my spare time, you will find me walking into nature.

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